Ingenuity Mars helicopter moved to a new location after its new flight

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After four historic flights, the Mars helicopter successfully flew to a new destination on May 7. This time, ascended 16 feet (5 meters) in the air and flew 423 feet (129 meters) south. It climbed to a new height record of 33 feet (10 meters) to take color and black-and-white images of this new airfield. “The fifth flight of the Mars Helicopter is another great achievement for the agency,” said Bob Pearce, associate administrator for ’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, in a statement. The Perseverance rover, which has been capturing video and images of the helicopter’s flights, also shared audio it collected from ’s fourth flight using the rover’s microphones. Ingenuity is holding up well on Mars, and its power system is providing enough energy to keep the chopper warm during frigid Martian nights and fly during the day.

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Ingenuity will now begin a new phase and fly for at least another month on Mars, transitioning from a technology demonstration to an operations demonstration. It will focus on aerial observation of specific scientific targets using its cameras, looking at features not accessible by rovers like Perseverance, as well as scouting for potentially intriguing scientific sites. Perseverance will spend the next couple hundred sols exploring a 1.24-mile (2-kilometer) patch of Jezero Crater’s floor. The two robots can be over half a mile (1 kilometer) or more apart, and still be able to communicate with each other.